TCL QM8 collection (2023)
Comparatively reasonably priced
Wonderful total picture high quality
Finest-in-class brightness and distinction
Succesful Google TV system
Not as correct as some rivals
Solely out there in 65-inch dimension and bigger
If you would like a giant TV with a wonderful image however you do not need to lay our a fortune, the TCL QM8 belongs on the high of your listing. This TV is even higher than the greatest TV for the cash I examined final yr, the TCL 6-series. It delivered superior brightness and distinction, and it manages to maintain the value just about the identical. So long as your dimension bracket is “65-inch or larger” and your worth vary is “not an OLED,” that is my choose for you.
Then again, if you happen to want a 55-inch dimension as a substitute, it is best to go for the Hisense U8K. Like this TCL, it is also a Google TV that gives excellent picture high quality and mini-LED expertise for a worth that is a lot decrease than you’d pay for an equal constancy on a Samsung or Sony. I in contrast the TCL QM8 and the Hisense U8K aspect by aspect within the TV lab at CNET and although each seemed excellent, I give the slight edge total to the brighter, extra contrasty TCL.
With two TVs this shut in image high quality and options, the tiebreaker for me comes down to cost. If the Hisense U8K is obtainable for considerably lower than the TCL QM8 on the time you are studying this, I would advocate getting the Hisense as a substitute. The 2 are simply that shut. And if you happen to’re questioning how far more you’d have to spend to get a fair higher image, try the pricing on the LG C3 OLED TV. It carried out higher than the TCL in my comparisons, however it additionally prices much more.
TCL QM8 collection TV sizes
I carried out a hands-on analysis of the 65-inch TCL QM8, however this evaluation additionally applies to the opposite display screen sizes within the collection. All sizes have comparable specs and will present comparable image high quality.
The QM8 sits on the high of TCL’s 2023 TV lineup. The cheaper Q7 and Q6 collection lack mini-LED backlights and do not get as shiny because the QM8 collection. I have not reviewed these fashions but, however primarily based on their specs I anticipate they will have worse picture high quality total than the QM8.
And if you happen to occur to be out there for a 100(ish)-inch TV, it is price noting that the 98-inch TCL QM8 prices greater than $10,000 on the time of this writing whereas the 100-inch Hisense U8K prices round $4,000. Benefit: Hisense.
Stepped-up design and a sleeker distant
The TCL QM8 is not as glossy as a high-end Samsung, however I most well-liked its feel and look to that of the Hisense. The very first thing I recognize is the central pedestal stand, which I like higher than the two-legs-to-either-side look. TCL offers you two totally different top selections with the stand as nicely so you may higher match a soundbar beneath the display screen if you would like. Word that not like the LG C3 OLED, this TV is sort of heavy, as traditional for an LED LCD with a fancy backlight.
The distant is a protracted, skinny wand that appears nicer than you will see on most price range TVs, and I appreciated the backlit keys. That mentioned, it suffers from a degree of button litter that makes it extra complicated than Samsung or Roku TV clickers. There are two totally different menu buttons (one gear-shaped and one other “hamburger”), a devoted profile key for some cause, and no fewer than seven shortcut keys to streaming providers, together with the TCL channel that I needed to Google simply now to seek out out what it was. I am prepared to guess that key will not put on out.
TCL went with Google TV over Roku TV (sadly)
Do not get me fallacious, the Google TV working system is sweet, it simply is not pretty much as good as Roku. And up till 2023, TCL has been utilizing Roku TV in its flagship mini-LED fashions just like the 6-Sequence. The corporate made the change to Google within the QM8 and different 2023 units to have “extra management” over options and updates, in accordance with a TCL rep I spoke with.
Google TV affords wonderful voice outcomes due to Google Assistant, together with a well-implemented youngsters profile mode and parental controls; tight integration with Google apps (particularly YouTube and YouTube TV); and extra apps total than proprietary programs like Samsung and LG, due to the Google Play retailer. Roku is easier to make use of in my expertise, nevertheless, and its search outcomes are higher than Google TV’s.
In my assessments on the QM8 Google TV’s system, the responses had been fast sufficient, simply as speedy as on the Hisense U8K. As traditional with Google, I did not love the massive chunk of area on the high dedicated to promotions of exhibits and films on numerous providers. I additionally want the “proceed watching” row was larger up, relatively than positioned beneath the “high picks for you” and apps rows. There have been a number of options throughout numerous apps however nonetheless loads of content material I did not care about.
In the end TCL’s alternative of Google over Roku is not a deal-breaker, partially as a result of there’s a straightforward and cheap answer if you wish to use Roku’s system on the QM8 anyway. Simply connect a Roku streaming gadget and use it as a substitute of Google TV.
TCL QM8 options: Mini-LED maxes brightness and dimming
The massive distinction between the QM8 and cheaper LCD-based TVs is its mini-LED backlight. Mini-LEDs are (shock!) smaller than normal LEDs, permitting them to be grouped into extra native dimming zones. Full-array native dimming, in flip, is one of the best ways to enhance image high quality on LCD TVs. It permits the display screen to dim and brighten totally different areas concurrently. Smaller areas, or extra dimming zones, imply more-precise illumination — which in the end will increase distinction, crucial ingredient in a very good image — however they are not the one issue.
The QM8 has a real 120Hz refresh fee, which ends up in higher movement efficiency than 60Hz TVs. Like most TVs in its class at the moment, the 6-Sequence makes use of quantum dots that assist enhance coloration in contrast with non-QD-equipped TVs. And naturally it helps each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10 excessive dynamic vary (HDR) codecs (nowadays, mainly the one producer that does not is Samsung). The QM8 additionally provides Dolby Imaginative and prescient IQ, which works with an ambient mild sensor to robotically modify the image.
4 HDMI inputs (one with 4K/144Hz, one with 4K/120Hz, one with eARC).Analog (composite) AV enter.USB port (2.0).Ethernet (wired web).Headphone jack.Optical digital audio output.RF (antenna) enter.
The most important step-up in connections in contrast with the sooner TCL 6-Sequence Roku TVs is the power to just accept 4K/120Hz enter indicators, from an Xbox Sequence X or PlayStation 5, for instance. The TV is definitely able to 144Hz enter, in accordance with TCL, however that further little bit of refresh is not a giant deal in my e book, and is obtainable solely on choose PC playing cards. Different gaming extras are par for the midrange TV course, specifically VRR, or variable refresh fee, and ALLM (auto sport mode). One of many inputs additionally helps eARC.
Yet one more function to file underneath “not a giant deal” is the QM8’s lack of a built-in ATSC 3.0 over-the-air tuner for NextGen TV broadcasts, one thing discovered on competing TVs, together with the Hisense U8K. These broadcasts are taking awhile to truly arrive and as soon as they do, you’ll connect an exterior tuner to observe them if you need.
TCL QM8 vs. Hisense U8K and others: Image high quality in contrast
For this comparability I lined up three 65-inch TVs aspect by aspect: the Hisense UK8 and the TCL QM8, which value about the identical, and the LG OLED C3, which prices considerably extra. I did not embody different fashions within the lineup this time, however from previous opinions I can say the picture high quality of the QM8 is considerably higher — brighter, with higher coloration and distinction — than the Roku TV Plus Sequence, Amazon’s Hearth TV Omni QLED and the Vizio MQX (all of which value much less) and a bit higher than final yr’s TCL 6-Sequence and Hisense U8H. Let’s dive in.
TV and films: Distinction is the distinction between the brightest whites and darkest blacks, and it is crucial contributor to TV picture high quality. This TCL TV is an absolute distinction beast. Watching my normal demo montage from the Spears & Munsil 4K Blu-ray, the QM8 delivered visibly brighter highlights than even the Hisense – regardless of their comparable mild output measurements – and matched it with a depth of black that was as near OLED perfection as I’ve seen on any LED LCD-based TV.
On the flip aspect, I acquired the impression that the TCLQM8 seemed a bit too good in some scenes. The side-by-side photographs between it and the Hisense gave the TCL the brightness benefit time after time (it was round 200 to 400 nits brighter within the brightest highlights I measured with an LS-100 mild meter) however the Hisense and LG C3 OLED each seemed only a bit extra pure to my eye. Each of these TVs measured extra correct as nicely, hewing nearer to the goal EOTF for HDR than the QM8. That mentioned, my eye stored getting drawn again to the TCL’s brighter, extra highly effective image.
The QM8 seemed extremely good in my Netflix comparability too. Watching the superb Our Cosmos documentary revealed its excellent distinction as soon as once more. Its black ranges and shadow element had been second solely to the C3 OLED, with minimal blooming, and a step darker than the Hisense, for extra seen punch. The photographs of deep area, stars and planets seemed practically as spectacular as on the OLED, and scenes of the darkish jungle had been wealthy with element and life.
Its brightness was additionally higher, as soon as once more. I measured a spot of daylight peeking by means of the timber (episode 2, 36:37) and the QM8 outshone the Hisense by practically 300 nits (1,300 in contrast with 1,000), and it greater than doubled the brightness of the OLED. Different highlights on the TCL had been persistently brighter as nicely. At instances its brightness once more appeared a bit extra intense than pure, and total I assumed the balanced picture of the OLED nonetheless seemed higher, however the QM8 definitely has its attraction.
Gaming: TCL has improved a few of its gaming options, although the QM8’s degree of extras is not fairly as complete as what you discover with Samsung or LG. Within the settings menu (Settings > system) there’s one thing known as Recreation Grasp that activates VRR and Auto Low Lag Mode and permits entry to a sport bar and three totally different gaming particular image modes. The sport bar (accessible by holding down the three-line menu button underneath the House key on the distant) exhibits present gaming standing, together with real-time frames per second, HDR and different options, and lets you change between the three modes.
Taking part in Starfield, I most well-liked the look of the Unique mode to the opposite two (FPS and RGB), each of which seemed very blue and unnatural. A toggle for “shadow enhancement,” with 4 ranges, uncovered progressively for shadow element. Viewers enjoying darkish shooters would possibly choose that, however to my eye it simply washed out the already pale-looking sport much more. As with some TVs, you may even add a crosshair (known as “Aiming Support” by TCL) and modify the fashion.
As anticipated, the TCL checked all of the packing containers on my Xbox Sequence X’s compatibility menu, together with Dolby Imaginative and prescient for gaming. Enter lag in HDR was wonderful, at 13.9 milliseconds (for some cause my units did not register in SDR, so I could not check lag there).
Evaluating the sport mode picture high quality between the Hisense, TCL and LG C3, the story was much like what I noticed with TV and films. The C3 seemed one of the best total after I performed Starfield, and the TCL had the brightness benefit, however the picture of the Hisense seemed a bit extra balanced to my eye, with extra pure coloration, than did the TCL’s. General, nevertheless I most well-liked the extra dynamic image of the TCL over the Hisense for video games in my side-by-side comparability.
Brilliant lighting: With its prodigious mild output, the QM8 is an outstanding bright-room performer as nicely. It is one of many brightest TVs I’ve ever measured, and solely fell in need of the Samsung QN90B as a result of the Samsung “cheats” by not having the ability to maintain its brightness over time.
I appreciated that for HDR, the TCL’s most-accurate image modes are additionally its brightest (IMAX and Film). With HDR sources apart from video games, I would advocate merely leaving the TV in both a kind of modes no matter lighting situation. For SDR (normal dynamic vary), the brightest mode is Sports activities, however it’s not very correct. Happily, Film remains to be a lot shiny for almost any lighting situation, and fairly correct.
The TV’s display screen end did a positive job dealing with reflections, about in addition to the Hisense U8K, however it did not protect darkish areas in addition to the C3 OLED.
TCL QM8 settings and movie mode notes
Probably the most correct image mode for HDR was IMAX, which measured barely higher than the next-best (Film) in my assessments. Each had been barely pink in grayscale and did not observe the EOTF as intently as some comeditors, however the superior coloration assessments (Colormatch HDR and Shade Checker) nonetheless certified as Good within the Geek Field (see beneath).
Word that solely Film lets you tweak issues like brightness and coloration (IMAX has no image adjustment choices). For SDR mode, Film was one of the best, however in its default settings it was nonetheless comparatively inaccurate, so I tweaked it barely to realize a greater picture (specifically altering the colour temperature setting to -4 and gamma to 2.2). These tweaks are mirrored within the outcomes beneath.
Try how we check TVs for extra particulars on the Geek field and our TV testing methodology.
Portrait Shows Calman calibration software program was used on this evaluation.